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Aho: Chinese Songs, Symphony No 4 / Vahevaara, Vänskä, Et Al

Release Date: 09/19/2000 
Label:  Bis   Catalog #: 1066   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Kalevi Aho
Performer:  Tiina Vahevaara
Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 3 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Finnish composer Kalevi Aho's Fourth Symphony (1972) contains, in its three movements, elements both typical of his early work and prophetic of things to come. The first movement's fugal exposition reveals a continuation of that concern with musical shape and form already quite evident in Aho's previous symphonies. His skillful use of counterpoint to convey an impression of sadness or dread echoes that great master of creepy fugue writing, Bartók. The second movement unleashes a violent whirlwind of sound very much in the spirit of Mahler's or Shostakovich's more nihilistic moments, and its instrumental virtuosity very much anticipates the composer's most recent, concertante-style symphonic writing. The
Read more desolate finale returns to the mood of the first movement, and to another of Aho's characteristic moods: music of stillness, neither happy nor sad, but coolly mysterious, hypnotic, desolate, and almost "Eastern" in effect if not modality. The Chinese Songs--exquisitely delicate, finely chiseled settings of love poetry--wear their orientalisms lightly and naturally; Aho creates an exotic aura through masterful use of instrumental color rather than through tacky excursions into pentatonic clichés. Soprano Tiina Vahevaara sings them very beautifully; the cycle should enter the concert repertoire forthwith. As always with BIS' recordings in its ongoing Aho cycle, the Lahti Symphony under Osmo Vänskä plays this music with the loving care that comes from close, ongoing association with the composer, and the sonics are marvelous. Important, beautiful music, this.

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

Chinese Songs (6) by Kalevi Aho
Performer:  Tiina Vahevaara (Soprano)
Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1997; Finland 
Language: Finnish 
Symphony no 4 by Kalevi Aho
Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1972-1973; Finland 

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